Democracy Theatre

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In the National Post, Andrew Coyne asks:

“The economy is in good shape, so why is support for the Conservatives slumping?”

I’m making Mother’s Day cards right now so I don’t have time to read the article, but even having only read the blurb, I find myself disagreeing with Andrew Coyne’s conclusion.

The Tories have not gone out of their way to alienate anyone. They are simply doing the job they were elected to do.

The Harper governmenr is doing an excellent job of serving the only constituents they represent. Their party is legally empowered to govern in this way because our inequitable winner-take-all electoral system gives all of the power to the party that secures more seats than any other. 

Ours is not a democratic system. 

The problem with a winner-take-all system like ours is that a majority government is a dictatorship.

 flag smallThe rest of us don’t count any more than our votes do.

That is the reality built into Canada’s winner-take-all electoral system.

Only the elite whose votes elect the government secure representation in government.

The electoral reform Andrew Coyne supports is called “Alternative Vote” ~ although various spin doctors have rebranded it “Preferential Voting” (Liberal Party) or “IRV” (RaBIT). Some people like this alternate winner-take-all electoral system because they believe it will game the system so their party will get the dictatorial power currently enjoyed by the ruling party.

No matter how good the intentions, no matter how benevolent, a dictatorship is not democratic. Every time I hear people slamming Canadians for our low voter turnout it makes my blood boil. It isn’t that Canadians don’t care, it’s that each generation has learned that our elections are as meaningless as the elections in any banana republic.

When most votes don’t count, what you’re left with is really only democracy theatre.

I don’t think we can afford to pay the price demanded by anyone’s defacto dictatorship.

On this Mother’s Day, I reflect on why I write this blog: as a mother, I believe all of our kids deserve to live in a real democracy. But that will only happen with meaningful electoral reform to Proportional Representation.

All Canadians should be represented by our government. 

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The Truth About Canada

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This talk Mel Hurtig made at the U of T bookstore in 2008 about his book
The Truth About Canada” is still every bit as timely as it was then. If anything it is more important for Canadians to watch this TVO video today:
http://www.tvo.org/TVO/WebObjects/TVO.woa?videoid?104881070001

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For instance, long before it came up, Mr. Hurtig makes quite clear why the Harper government sought to scrap the Long Form Census. Responsible government planning is not nearly as important to our current government as is the government’s ability to ignore or suppress statistical information so that people like Mel Hurtig can’t write Books like “The Truth About Canada.”

I’m on record as being in opposition to both of our “alternating” ruling parties.
I was asked at one point what it would take to get me to vote Liberal. The idea being that anything that would unseat the Harper government would be an improvement.

But I tend to disagree; a minority Harper Government is less dangerous than a majority Liberal government, because without electoral reform the only time Canada has anything approximating democracy is when we have a minority government.
That’s when they at least give the appearance of listening to citizens.

This is particularly important when dreadful secret treaties like ACTA and laws like the current draft of the Canadian DMCA, Bill C32, are on the table.  Political considerations aside, the bulk of Canada’s elected representatives appear woefully ignorant about the Internet technology or the underlying issues they are being pressured but corporate special interest groups to rush to legislate.

the text reads Now is the time for REAL change - National Party of Canada

Both of our alternating ruling parties have demonstrated the ability of ruling contrary to our interests when they rule by a majority. You know what they say about absolute power.   (As this is Canada, throw in a dash of patronage and quid pro quo…)

Pretty much the only way I would vote for either of the alternating parties would be if they had Mel Hurtig running things. He’s pretty much the only person I would actually trust as our Prime Minister.  Even though he has not yet weighed in on Bill C32 or ACTA, I suspect that Mr. Hurtig would at least understand the issues before rushing through legislation against the interests of citizens.

[Thanks Bob!]

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